Los Angeles Announces Separated Bike Lanes on Sunset Boulevard


Sunset Boulevard is about to get a major makeover. Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced today the installation of fully separated bike lanes along the iconic boulevard. The project will connect Echo Park with Hollywood and make it safer for residents to bike to Metro Red line stations along this busy corridor. City planners estimate that the resulting switch from cars to bikes for short trips will cut everybody’s travel time, resulting in a win-win for both cyclists and motorists.

He also spoke of additional positive outcomes. “Finally our children will be able to safely ride their bikes to school, or to visit the local ice cream shop,” said O’Farrell.  Signalling the end of a hundred years of car-centric planning, O’Farrell’s links the new bike lanes with his goal to lessen the devastating impact of climate change and end the U.S’s dependence on fossil fuels.  He added, “It’s no coincidence we’re fighting wars in the Middle East.”


Current bike lane conditions on Sunset: narrow and often blocked.

Funding will come from two unique sources: fines for owners of illegal billboards and film companies caught blocking bike lanes without a permit. “I’m happy to be killing two birds with one stone on this one,” said O’Farrell.

Operation Firefly: Lighting Up the Night

operation firefly

There’s a common stereotype of the average bike rider. We tend to think of a privileged man wearing skin-tight, candy bar colored Lycra and riding a $5,000 Italian bicycle (not that there’s anything wrong with that–cycling is a great way to get exercise). But the reality in Los Angeles and many other big cities around the world is that the average rider is not someone who wants to ride a bike but is, instead, someone who must ride a bike either to get to work or to school. Which is why, when the days get short, I appreciate the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Operation Firefly:

Operation Firefly/Operacíon Luciérnaga is an education and bike light distribution program intended to make sure people riding bikes in Los Angeles County are riding safely at night. Our Team Firefly volunteers flag down unlit riders, install lights, distribute informational spoke cards, and conduct a survey. Now in its fourth season, data from last year’s survey showed that 75% of light recipients use their bicycle as their main form of transportation. See last year’s fact sheet.

Please consider giving a donation. The ability to get around safely is a basic human right.

026 Riding a Bike in Los Angeles with Colin Bogart

Colin Bogart of the LACBC. Image: Tropico Station.

Colin Bogart of the LACBC. Image: Tropico Station.

In episode 26 Kelly and I interview Colin Bogart, Programs Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, about how to ride a bike in the city, commuting by bike and the politics of making our communities more bike friendly.  Colin shares his experience of growing up in the suburbs and how he got back into riding a bike. During the discussion (fueled by a bottle of wine, I’ll note) we discuss:

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.